Tag Archive | Furniture

Eye On Design: Pierre Cardin’s Junior Unit Chest

Pierre Cardin Junior Unit Chest
Pierre Cardin’s Junior Unit Chest, Installation View (All Photos By Gail)

Pierre Cardin’s interest in geometry has extended throughout his career, beginning in his teens, when he was an apprentice tailor. Over the decades, his work has featured triangular lamps and square shoulders but it is the circle that predominates in his design. We featured a look at the circle motifs in his furniture design in This Post, and another terrific example of what the legendary designer refers to as his ‘couture furniture’ is the Junior Unit Chest of Drawers (197980).

Junior Unit Chest

Junior Unit Chest
Drawer Detail

Comprised of staggered, lacquered wood drawers which appear suspended inside a circular, chrome-plated metal frame, the Junior Unit is both modern and futuristic at the same time!

Junior Unit Chest

Photographed as part of the Exhibit Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion at The Brooklyn Museum.

 

Eye On Design: Lacquered Wood ‘Sunset’ Cabinet By Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin Sun Cabinet 2
Photos By Gail

What a treat it is to experience the Pierre Cardin exhibit Future Fashion, currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. I admit to being unaware that Cardin also made furniture until I saw a selection of his amazing woodwork staged amongst his retro-space-age fashions. This cabinet, which emulates a sunset above ocean waves, is from 2018.

Pierre Cardin Sun Cabinet 3

Cardin’s passion for woodworking began as a child in central France. Later, he created furniture inspired by the skies, landscapes, and forms of nature, using traditional woodworking and lacquer techniques that correspond to the handiwork in haute couture fashion. For this reason, Cardin described his handmade cabinets, tables, dressers, and chairs as “couture furniture” and utilitarian sculptures. Cardin intends his furniture, like sculpture, to be place so that the viewer can see if from all sides and directions.

Pierre Cardin Sun Cabinet

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion Will be on View at The Brooklyn Museum Through January 5th, 2020.

Eye On Design: Display Cabinet By Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard

Gaillard Display Cabinet
All Photos By Gail

Like the side chair designed by Hector Guimard, seen just to the left of this cabinet in the bottom photo of this post, Louis-Desiré-Eugène Gaillard’s Display Cabinet (1900) incorporates bold, animated, plant-like forms in its decoration. Gaillard exhibited similar furniture at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris, also known as the Exposition Universalle, which helped popularize architecture and domestic objects with fluid lines and whiplash curves.

Gaillard Display Cabinet
Cabinet Design Detail

This cabinet was part of a larger set of dining room furniture that would have been marketed to both middle and upper-middle class consumers. A key idea of design reform at the turn of the 19th century was that well-designed objects should not be reserved only for the wealthy.

Gaillard Display Cabinet

Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.

Eye On Design: Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Cozy Chair Installation View
Cozy Chair Installation View in the Todd Merrill Studio Booth at The Salon New York (All Photos By Gail)

An annual favorite NYC design event is now behind us for the year, but you can bet I’ll be featuring many of the most spectacular pieces of art furniture from The Salon Art + Design in these pages in the coming weeks. Let’s kick off with a unique chair from Berlin-based, Bauhaus educated, multi-disciplinary designer Hannes Grebin, who has created upholstered seating inspired by questioning traditional domestic decor. Applying the principals of Cubism to design, Grebin masterfully deconstructs the traditional shapes and detailing of a ‘Dad’s Chair’ into simplified geometric shapes and interlocking planes. Presenting The Cozy Chair!

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Grebin describes the chair as a ‘living sculpture,’ which puts the traditional views about comfort and taste into question. The Cozy Chair is a wing-back style that dates back centuries, but has here been re-analyzed, broken down and reassembled into something quite new and different.

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

It is both fractured and asymmetric, but perfectly meets the demands of ergonomics. Angular and yet cozy, sculptural and yet functional, Grebin has struck a unique balance that makes The Cozy Chair an alluring work of design. The faceted planes meet elegantly giving the chair changing perspectives with each glance. His design is both a deconstruction and commentary on the mechanization of modern life.

Cozy Chair By Hannes Grebin

Working with a master upholster in Berlin, the resulting seating is hand-crafted with the highest possible level of materials and workmanship. Grebin, the son of two architects notes, “Ultimately, I didn’t want to make just furniture. It was much more important for me that although all objects function, the design objects should become objects for discussion, in order to lead the theoretical design discourse to new ways and approaches.”

Available by commission from the designer; visit Todd Merrill Studio with all inquiries.

Eye On Design: David Bowie Aladdin Sane Chair

David Bowie Chair Installation View
Story and All Photos By Gail Worley

A definite “Oh, Wow!” moment at the recent BDNY show — (boutique design for the hospitality industry) at Javits Center — occurred when I walked into the booth for Century Industries. Because: David Bowie Chair.

David Bowie Chair Seat Detail
David Bowie Chair, Seat Detail

This gorgeous side chair, upholstered in vinyl imprinted with images of David Bowie from the Aladdin Sane era, is a show-stopper for sure.  The chair was designed by Century designer Lenny Levine in collaboration with Heloise Godin, another talented designer in the firm’s Connecticut office. Lenny was happy to fill me in on the chair’s origin story.

David Bowie Chair Back Detail
David Bowie Chair Back Support Detail

Heloise and I tried a few different mock-ups before deciding on the model you saw at BDNY,” Lenny told me. “Only two chairs of the Bowie print have been made so far. There’s another, slightly different version in our Connecticut showroom, with a black frame instead of chrome, where the artwork has darker tones, and there are no images of Bowie around the sides of the cushions. We have made this style of chair with different prints and metal finishes for shows such as HD (Hospitality Design) Expo in Las Vegas and HCD (Healthcare Design Conference & Expo) in New Orleans, which were both earlier this year. These design shows are all part of the launchpad for introducing the printed chair line.

Lenny enthusiastically admits to being a Bowie fan. “The image of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane was chosen because Bowie is synonymous with great art and high fashion. He is a seminal artist and his body of work is timeless; his sense of style beyond influential. David Bowie took risks, he pushed art and life to its fullest and, although he was British, he certainly invaded New York.”

Booth View
Installation View

Lenny explained that the chair was given a ‘Warhol‘ vibe, which then inspired Century to go with a Pop Art  / Deco style for its booth at BDNY. “The lightening bolt on the face was over sized and colored  a deep red and blue, giving it a bit of that Superhero feel. Although the vinyl appears to be distressed, that is a printing effect, making the faux leather appear to have texture.”

Bowie Chair Detail

Aladdin Sane Image Detail

“The additional images used are from the same contact sheets from the original album and promotional photo shoot, but they have been treated graphically to evoke motion. The steel frame of the chair was also fabricated on our Montreal factory and finished in a smoked chrome. This finish and the chair’s unique filigree backing gives it an automotive spirit!”

David Bowie Chair

This David Bowie chair is fit for a Rock Star, but priced at just $2500 (a steal), and Century will produce it on-demand for designers, hospitality, restaurants, etc. “We’re also getting requests from retailers to showcase the chair, based on our launch at BDNY,” Lenny added. Exciting! Visit Century on the web to inquire about the Bowie Chair at This Link!

Eye On Design: Sideboard by Edward Godwin

Sideboard by Edward Godwin
Installation View (Photos By Gail)

Though Edward Godwin initially worked in the Gothic Revival style, beginning in the 1860s he was increasingly influenced by the culture of Japan; collecting Japanese art and studying that country’s architecture and furnishings in ukiyo-e prints and Western publications. Inspired by such sources and frustrated with the commercial furniture then available, Godwin created spare designs such as this Sideboard in which the structural supports are the dominant, decorative element. The work’s primary aesthetic is achieved, as Godwin said, “by the mere grouping of solid and void.” Godwin made the first version of this sideboard for his own home in 1867.

Sideboard by Edward Godwin

Photographed in the Art Institute Chicago.

Eye On Design: Bocca Sofa

Bocca Sofa
Photos By Gail

The iconic Bocca Sofa (also unofficially known an the Lips Sofa) was created by the radical Italian design team Studio 65 for the famed Italian manufacturers Gufram back in 1972. Based on an original design by none other than Surrealist Salvador Dali, who took Mae West as his inspiration, Studio 65 looked to that other iconic beauty, Marilyn Monroe, to create this famous sofa. Both Studio 65 and Gufram are known for being places where the art world and design world collided, and their kaleidoscopic fusion of pop art, conceptual art and modernist design reached their zenith with this piece.

The voluptuous Bocca Sofa has gone down as a design classic, the perfect blend of playfulness and serious design. It goes without saying that it’s a statement piece, as this sofa would dominate the design scheme of any living room. At a sizable 83 inches in width, the Bocca will comfortably seat three and, despite its artsy background, it retains excellent functionality, being both extremely comfortable and coated with easy to clean polyurethane, while an inner frame of chromium plated steel lends solidity and quality. A guaranteed conversation starter, this is a sofa that expresses a bold personality through its design. (Source)

Bocca Sofa

Photographed at R & Company, Located at 64 White Street, NYC.

Eye On Design: Steer Horn Chair By Wenzel Friedrich

Steer Horn Chair
All Photos By Gail

Trained as a cabinet maker, Wenzel Friedrich immigrated to the US in 1853, settling in San Antonio, Texas. In 1880, he realized the potential of the Texas stockyards’ plentiful supply of steer horns for use in the making of furniture. It is likely that Friedrich was inspired by furniture he had seen in Europe, where antlers and other emblems of the hunt were used as décor as early as the 15th century. Friedrich’s horned furniture fulfilled the Victorian fancy for the unusual, as well as symbolizing the Wild West. Heating the horn made the material pliable, allowing Friedrich to create exaggerated curves for his pieces. If you happen to live in San Antonio, you can see examples of his work in the historic Oge House, which is now a Bed & Breakfast.

You can read more about Friedrich Wenzel’s horn furniture designs at This Link.

Steer Horn Chair

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Upcycled Side Chair and Table By Xtreme Upcycle

Upcycled Lounge Chair and Side Table By MH Couture
Photos By Gail

Creating cool, modern furniture from upcycled car parts is not an entirely new idea, but in this case there is a unique motivation behind the design. This fun and funky Side Chair and Cocktail Table — which incorporate discarded car tires and refinished bike wheels — is by Xtreme Upcycle, a small business whose proprietors have a deep social conscience behind everything they produce.

Upcycled Side Chair and Table By Xtreme Upcycle

Embracing the theme of Turning Trash Into Treasures, Xtreme Upcycle (established in 2012) lives its vision of reducing waste and combating climate change; finding alternative uses for discarded items and recycling them into up-cycled new products! Based in Ghana, West AfricaXtreme Upcycle works on most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by halting climate change in its own small, but significant, way. In partnership with it upcycled fashion accessory business MH Couture, they promote positive environmental sanitation processes, create employment for all (with an emphasis on women), and contribute to the education of underprivileged young women and girls in West African society. They also embark on regular tree planting exercises in rural communities. Fantastic!

Follow and contact Xtreme Upcycle via Instagram at @xtremeupcycle!

Upcycled Lounge Chair and Side Table By MH Couture

Photographed at the New York Now Show at Javits Center

Eye On Design: Serving Table and Arm Chair By Kem Weber

Serving Table and Arm Chair By Kem Weber
All Photos By Gail

German emigre Kem Weber (18891963) designed original and colorful furniture and interiors devoid of overt historical references and evocative of modern times.

Kem Weber Chair

Produced as part of a nine-piece dining-room suite manufactured by Grand Rapids Chair Company, this Serving Table and Arm Chair (circa 192829) feature finishes of painted wood, walnut, and silver leaf with original leather upholstery.

Kem Weber Serving Table

The zigzag pattern in both the walnut veneer of the table and the striking green surfaces of both table and chair attest to Weber’s knowledge of French Art Moderne, while their smooth contours anticipate the sleek look of American streamlined design that would become popular in the 1930s.

Photographed in the Art Institute Chicago

Ken Weber Table and Chair